Kendrapara: Instilling the habit of book reading among today’s children is a Herculean task but Block Education Officer (BEO) of Derabish, Narahari Sutar, has accomplished it and very successfully at that.
Of course the going was not at all easy. When he joined as BEO, Narahari Sutar observed that all the students would skip classes during the library period, the last one, every Wednesday.
This is when he determined that come what may, he would make these children read. So he started DEAR (Drop Everything And Read) programme in more than 250 government and primary schools. Not only students, he also roped in the teachers and made it mandatory for them to sit and read with the students. He was convinced that this would improve their vocabulary and spelling ability.
“I got this inspiration when I was officiating in Ganjam district. The district administration there took an initiative to encourage students to read books during the library period every week,” said Sutar.
The books that were gathering dust earlier in the library are now being picked up because of the DEAR programme, said Sutar.
Good books serve children well throughout their life. The most important thing is reading encourages a thirst for knowledge and develops interest in other cultures, Sutar said.
It is heartening to note that the DEAR programme started two years back in all schools of Derabish block, has achieved a hundred per cent success. Inspired by this success, all other blocks in the district have started following the DEAR programme.
According to District Collector Samarth Verma, he had approved the DEAR programme and asked BEOs to organise book reading in all schools of the district every Wednesday. It will improve students’ knowledge and they will utilise their time in a constructive manner, without wasting it on social media.